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Online engagement and impact: The case of Greek politicians during the financial crisis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Savvas Papagiannidis, Professor Hartmut Behr

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Abstract

In this paper we studied how Greek politicians use their Internet presence and in particular social media to engage citizens, examining the perceived significance of establishing an online presence and the motivating and hindering factors for doing so. We also studied how online strategies are implemented and executed in three different periods, namely pre-elections, a crisis period (in our case the Greek sovereign debt crisis) and a ‘normal’ period. To answer our research questions we adapted a social media conceptual framework to online political presence. Data was collected via in-depth interviews with candidates of 5 different political parties taking part in the general elections of 2012. Our analysis suggests that although politicians are increasingly interested in engaging with citizens via online technologies, their efforts are not always focused on achieving measurable and tangible results. Politicians' online strategies need to be organised around the concepts of communication, engagement and influence and not around the electronic spaces where these take place, i.e. the objectives and the means need to be clearly distinguished and utilised. We discuss the implications of our findings from a theoretical and practical perspective, in the context of online political marketing and political participation and engagement.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Behr H; Papagiannidis S; Stamati T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of E-Business Research

Year: 2013

Volume: 9

Issue: 4

Pages: 47-66

Print publication date: 01/01/2013

ISSN (print): 1548-1131

ISSN (electronic): 1548-114X

Publisher: IGI Global

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/ijebr.2013100104

DOI: 10.4018/ijebr.2013100104


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